Canada’s first airmen
On Feb. 23, 1909, engineer J.A.D. McCurdy piloted the Silver Dart—the first successful airplane flight by a Canadian—over the ice of Baddeck Bay, N.S. “It’s the romance of aviation that interests people,” said McCurdy. In part two of this Maclean’s series from 1931, rewind to the thrilling exploits of McCurdy and F.W. Baldwin, who also helped design and build the first plane that started Canada’s flying history.
Remembering Tommy Douglas
Tommy Douglas was often described as a pragmatic leader who was impatient with ideology and theoretical debate. “He provided the framework on which the socialism of the Seventies can be built,” wrote Maclean’s contributing editor Heather Robertson. In memory of Douglas, who died on Feb. 24, 1986, a Maclean’s exclusive from a decade before his death takes an intimate look at the man who came from left field.
And the Academy Award goes to…
Oscar night—the climax of cinema’s awards season—is just around the corner. In 2007, Maclean’s associate editor Jaime Weinman made a case for killing one of its most prestigious categories: Best Director. “Not only does the Best Director award make the Academy Awards a joke; separating it from Best Picture has made them an anachronism,” he wrote.
Black History Month
Senior writer Mary Janigan, who reported and wrote about Black Canadians in 1986 for Maclean’s, noted that Black Canadians are no less vulnerable to discrimination—often crude, but more often subtle—than their African-Americans in the United States. Curated from the Maclean’s archives, these stories reveal Black Canadians’ struggles to assess how far they have come, and how much farther they have to go. Travel back to 1946, when civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks came to visit Nova Scotians. A 1963 essay in Maclean’s reveals the “psychological advantage in remaining a black foreigner instead of becoming a Black Canadian.” Lawrence Hill combines memoir with an examination of national attitudes about race in 2001, when he chronicled mixed-race Canadians and their search for identity.
Maclean’s has been writing about this country’s most famous and important personalities for more than a century. This collection of stories looks back at intimate portraits of past prime ministers and their wives as they navigated Canada’s place in the world. Rewind to John Diefenbaker’s time at centre stage with his wife and political co-star, Olive Evangeline Diefenbaker, in 1957, or to a 1994 Maclean’s cover story on Aline Chrétien, who shunned publicity but had long served as her husband’s most trusted adviser. Former senior editor David Cobb reveals Margaret Trudeau as an endearing free spirit on the road to 24 Sussex, whether she was a political punch line or a paparazzi fixture.